Pilipino Workers Center

What We Are Learning

Weingart Foundation Learning and Assessment Practice

The Weingart Foundation has always held learning as a core organizational value. We engage in meaningful learning activities that aim to refine and improve our approaches to strengthen the capacity and effectiveness of nonprofit organizations, collaboratives, and coalitions working to advance racial, social and economic equity in Southern California.

Our Learning and Assessment practice serves three primary purposes: to support program staff with ongoing learning, assessment, and strategy development; to foster organizational and cross-program learning; and to advance learning externally, among grantee partners and the broader field.

In F.Y. 2014, our Board of Directors approved the following Learning and Assessment Framework, which is designed to comprehensively assess how the Foundation’s Unrestricted Operating Support (U.O.S.) furthers the organizational effectiveness of our nonprofit partners.

Learning and Assessment Framework

Nonprofit partners will be better able and more effective in addressing needs of impacted individuals and communities
Maintain a grantmaking program that responds to organizational and programmatic need as identified by our nonprofit partners
Maintain policy and practice to help nonprofit partners better provide and sustain their programs and services

Exercise leadership in the nonprofit and philanthropic community to influence policy and practice

The Foundation began full implementation of our Learning and Assessment system at the start of F.Y. 2016, allowing us to systematically capture nonprofit data across seven areas of organizational effectiveness for all of our U.O.S. partners with grants over $50,000. As part of this system, executive directors from partner organizations are asked to complete a Grantee Survey in lieu of a final report, as well as engage in a close-out conversation with their Foundation program officer.

We use information from the Grantee Surveys, as well as Program Officer Assessments completed at the beginning and end of each grant, to further deepen our understanding of how unrestricted dollars specifically contribute to nonprofits’ ability to strengthen capacity and effectiveness. In April 2018, the Foundation released a report sharing baseline data gathered from our second full year under our Learning and Assessment Framework.

Additional Listening & Learning Activities

The Foundation remains committed to continue listening and learning from nonprofits and communities in an ongoing effort to refine and strengthen our approaches to advance equity.

Community Engagement: As part of our ongoing practice of grantee listening, the Foundation regularly engages with nonprofit leaders representing the diversity of our service region. We meet with grantees outside of the application process to gather information on: 1) perception and feedback on the Foundation’s programs and practice, 2) current challenges and opportunities in the field, and 3) recommendations to inform our future work and direction.

Special Assessments: The Foundation conducts special assessments to learn from our other funding strategies outside of U.O.S. grantmaking.

Grantee and Applicant Perception Reports: The Foundation works with the Center for Effective Philanthropy to periodically survey recent grantee partners to identify what is currently working well and what can be improved in areas ranging from the Foundation’s operational processes to our communications.

For additional information on our Learning and Assessment practice, please contact Aimee Fribourg, Manager of Learning and Assessment, at afribourg@weingartfnd.org or Joyce Ybarra, Director of Grant Operations, at jybarra@weingartfnd.org.